September 23, 2015
There are an estimated 4.5 million U.S. children who have at least one undocumented parent or who are part of mixed-status families. On Sept. 30, a documentary will be shown at Saint John's University that examines the story of 14 such children. As part of an ongoing lecture series titled Guatemala: Challenge and Promise, the Latino/Latin American Studies Program at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University is hosting a screening of "Abrazos" by Guatemalan-American director and producer Luis Argueta.
The screening and a discussion with Argueta will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30, in the Art Lecture Hall at SJU. "Abrazos," which means hugs, is the title of the second installment in Argueta's migration trilogy. The film documents the experience of 14 U.S. children traveling from Minnesota to Guatemala to meet their grandparents for the first time. "In the process of filming several of my most recent documentaries, I have witnessed the negative consequences of familial separation caused by a broken immigration system. The ones most affected by this separation are the children," said Argueta in a press release. He is now touring the country in order to screen his films and offer question and answer sessions. Argueta was born and raised in Guatemala, and now lives in New York. Argueta has worked on feature films, documentaries, shorts and TV episodes. His 1994 film "The Silence of Neto" was submitted to the foreign films category in the 67th Academy Awards, the first submission from Guatemala. He is the only Guatemalan director to receive a CLIO award. Most recently, Argueta is the recipient of the prestigious Orden del Quetzal award. Argueta's work has been featured on PBS and has been shown at immigration and workers conferences, faith communities, schools and 13 film festivals all over the world.
The event is co-sponsored by Intercultural and International Student Services at CSB/SJU and the Center for Global Education at CSB/SJU.